January 10, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The woman who now handles the Girl Scouts' communications used to have another employer: an abortion lobby think tank founded by Gloria Steinem.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Kelly Parisi has served as vice president of communications at the Girl Scouts of the USA since last July. But her last job, before her two-month gap in employment, was as vice president of marketing and communications for the Ms. Foundation for Women. The foundation – which Steinem founded in 1973 – lists “Reproductive Rights and Health” (which includes support for taxpayer-funded abortion) first on its list of issues.
Parisi, who has a minor in women's studies, said she was thrilled to work at the foundation, because she was “able to channel my outrage at women's inequality and gender injustice into action every day.”
“The last two years have generated record numbers of restrictions on reproductive rights across the country,” she said. “Women are constantly under attack.”
At the Ms. Foundation, Parisi served on a five-member “executive team” that guided policy. A report she contributed to last year called for the “repeal [of] state and federal legislative barriers to abortion access,” granting military women access to abortion, implementing the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), expanding “family planning” funding, and teaching “comprehensive” sex education in the public schools.
It blasted “so-called 'conscience clauses' that allow providers and companies to cite religious reasons for refusing to provide contraception, abortion and sterilization.”
Parisi's report – which revealed the feminist group was funded in part by George Soros' Open Society Foundation and the Tides Foundation – criticized the Hyde Amendment, abstinence-based sex education classes, and crisis pregnancy centers that allegedly “mislead or harass women with false information about abortion.”
Parisi had an earlier stint as director of communications at the Ms. Foundation for four years, from August 1998 to January 2003. In between, she worked at the at the Children's Health Fund, founded by liberal songwriter Paul Simon, an organization that also has ties to abortion advocacy.
Parisi had only been at her new post with the Girl Scouts of the USA for a few months when she ignited controversy over the Scouts seeming to honor her former employer. Just before Christmas, the Scouts retweeted a Huffington Post story that named Wendy Davis and Gloria Steinem among the “Incredible Ladies Who Should Be Women of the Year for 2013.”
— Girl Scouts (@girlscouts) December 18, 2013
Parisi defended the tweet, telling CNSNews.com, “Our Twitter bio states that a retweet does not equal an endorsement. Our sharing a link was not to endorse any of the women featured, but to highlight the source's acknowledgment of women who made a mark in 2013.”
“As the world’s premiere leadership organization for girls, we are charged with developing girls of courage, confidence and character,” she said. “We hope that all girls have the courage to make the their voices heard and welcome respectful discourse about what qualities a woman of the year should have.”
Parisi's own Twitter account, under the handle @bossladykp, is locked and can be read only with her permission.
However, the Scouts' ties to Planned Parenthood and enthusiasm for Steinem precede Parisi's tenure. A 2012 report on “healthy media” on the Girl Scouts' website promotes the book and website My Little Red Book, “a collection of short narratives written by women about their first period.” The reviewers wrote “we like it” because it features “[s]tories from women of different ages and backgrounds, including renowned authors and activists such as Gloria Steinem” and pro-abortion children's book author Judy Blume. (In 2009, Blume wrote a fundraising e-mail asking donors to send money to Planned Parenthood in honor of Mother's Day.)
Girl Scout CEO Kathy Clonginer told the Today Show in 2004 that the organization partners “with Planned Parenthood organizations across the country to bring information-based sex education programs to girls.” In 2012, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi describes the Girl Scouts' relationship with Planned Parenthood as “very valuable.”
The group's advocacy for LGBT causes has also undermined its wholesome image for many. In 2011, the group announced it would admit a seven-year-old biological boy as a Girl Scout, because he considers himself a transgender “girl.” In July, more than 90 Girl Scouts marched in San Francisco's Gay Pride Parade for the first time ever.
The online news service Breitbart has noted the ravaging effects social liberalism has had on the organization. Girl Scout councils have reduced from 312 to 112, and the group has lost nearly one-third of its funding from 2007-2011. During that time, contributions dipped by a massive $44 million.